What could be better than getting to spend your two-month-long summer vacations with your grandparents? Nothing, right?
As a small-town girl born in the 90s, I have grown up watching renowned TV programs such as Ramayan, Shaktiman, Aladin and DuckTales. I have danced to the tune of cassette music and have relied on comics for my childhood dose of superhero knowledge. I have spent most of my summer vacations at my grandparents’. In fact, I used to look forward to these vacations for more reasons than one. The most important one, however, was grandma’s bedtime stories.
Every summer, the stories that were initially only intended as bedtime tales would soon begin to take up my afternoons and evenings as well. Fortunately for me, she was fond of reading and hence always had a new story to tell. Her stories revolved around the tales of kings, farmers, fairies, animals, deities, demons, and, of course, a few real-life incidents.
Noticing my keen interest in stories, she suggested me to start reading. However, that never quite happened until my summer vacations grew shorter and I grew older.
It did not take me long to realize that I was more interested in fiction, which is what I kick-started my reading journey with. I remember starting off with Nicholas Sparks’ novel titled At First Sight, which I had borrowed from the school library. While Sparks’ romantic novels did evoke intense emotions, the feelings of teenage love did not last for very long. A small heartbreak put a premature end to my obsession with love stories and urged me to explore other genres.
Eventually, I grew more interested in the works of authors such as Paulo Coelho, Amish Tripathi, Dan Brown, among others. The more I read them, the more I realized that no movie or narrator could quite match up to the detail and intensity offered by an exhilarating read. Even so, I kept wondering what put books on a better footing.
I guess I have the answer to that now: the power of imagination. You see, reading stirs your imagination; it makes you visualize a piece of fiction to the point you feel like you are directing a movie. In fact, each and every word we read enhances our imagination, and who can envision and envisage things for us better than we ourselves can?
Each one of us goes through different experiences in life, and that’s where a book can make one feel and perceive things differently. The same novel can invoke different emotions in different people. This is something any two readers at random will gleefully attest to.
I actually feel that I was lucky to have picked up this habit at an early age. I would like to sum up with a well-known quote of George R.R. Martin.
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.
A NOTE TO OUR READERS
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